Good Artists Borrow, Great Artists Steal

Shockingly, this well-known Pablo Picasso quote is not an excuse to be lazy.

No one can argue Apple creates some beautiful looking products. From the iMac to the iPod to the iPhone and down to the Magic Mouse and even their rechargeable battery pack. This is a company that knows gorgeous design. When you hold an Apple product, it “feels” valuable.

Since the introduction of the iPod and the “second coming” of Apple, Inc. you can’t help but notice the amount of copycat companies. Before the iPhone there were no full body glass screen phones (that I’m aware of). Now, every phone maker has an iPhone knockoff. You can look at these phones from a distance and even think they may be an iPhone. That is, until closer observation. Holding one of these phones you can’t help but think the designers of these phones weren’t looking to do much more than create a clone.

Samsung’s Galaxy S and Apple original iPhone

The inherent problem isn’t that these companies looked toward another product for inspiration, the problem is that they didn’t look far enough. There are so many amazing objects to draw inspiration from, that just looking over at one of the best selling phones and then creating your version of it isn’t enough.

Left: Braun T3 Pocket Radio. Right: Apple iPod

If you admire the design of Apple products look back to industrial designs of the 1950s and 60s. If you do, you’ll see so many similarities between those products and the design implementation that Apple is using today. My suggestion is to get out of the office and off your computer. Go outside, go to a museum, go to a park, a concert. Inspiration is all around you. Take that inspiration and create something that is your own and at the end of the day, you’ll feel so much more satisfied with what you’ve accomplished.